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Moderate muslims warned police about bomb suspect


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LONDON, England (CNN) -- A leader at a mosque visited by one of the London July 21 bombing suspects says he warned police that Hamdi Issac was dangerous more than two years ago.


An elder at the Stockwell Mosque in south west London says he wrote to a senior police officer urging him to help deal with a group of young people who had been "harassing" and intimidating the moderate Muslims.


Toaha Qureshi, one of the mosque's Trustees, told CNN that Issac -- the alleged Shepherds Bush attempted bomber currently fighting extradition from Italy -- was a prominent member of the group.


Qureshi told CNN that mosque officers had made it clear they regarded 27-year-old Issac as a threat and a destabilizing force.


"We were having problems with a group which was trying to take over the mosque," he said -- adding that Issac was part of that group.


"That group was trying to intimidate and harass the management committee."


Qureshi said the letter, written to Deputy Borough Commander of Brixton Police Malcolm Tillyer, on July 24, 2003, said the gang had been "inciting racial and religious hatred in the community."


The letter complained that the group were spreading extremist literature and views, and had been targeting moderate leaders of the mosque for abuse.


"We believe that this group is trying to undermine both the authority and moderate approach of the center's management, imams and community... " said a copy of the letter shown to Channel 4 News.


"They have an agenda to turn this center into another Finsbury Park Mosque" -- referring to another mosque in north London known for extreme Islamist preaching.


One of Issac's addresses was a flat at Blair House in Stockwell, where he lived with his wife.


Qureshi said Stockwell Mosque had been working for years to stop extremist ideas taking hold in the Muslim community.


He had "blown the whistle" to the Metropolitan Police, he said, because the Muslim community were always getting the blame for not being pro-active enough in challenging those inciting religious hatred.


A Scotland Yard spokesman told CNN that correspondence regarding individuals was treated in confidence and police could not discuss such matters.


However, he added: "Police in Lambeth maintain regular close liaison with representatives of each of the mosques in the Borough of Lambeth. If and when concerns are expressed, prompt action is taken to address those concerns."


CNN's Chris Burns and Graham Jones contributed to this report

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